Two Top Pontiacs Compete in Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational
Dennis Prunty will also be joining the competition with a 1981 Pontiac Trans Am. The Trans Am is considered a West Bend Dyno car belonging to Brad Riekkoff, who once-upon-a-time drove the car to high school every day.
According to Brad, "I worked on the car every day, even if it didn't need it, and drove it every day of my sophomore, junior, and senior years sporting a mullet and a big smile!"
After high school, Brad's stepfather bought the car from him when Brad couldn't afford it anymore. It sat for about 16 years until the summer of 2009 when the pair decided to dust off the cobwebs in an attempt to drive the car in the local Fourth of July parade. Well, it didn't go as planned and the motor awoke with an unhappy rod-knock. After missing the parade, Brad managed to convince his stepfather that the car deserved an LS transplant. Luckily, he agreed and it was decided that West End Dyno could do whatever they wanted with the car to show what the still-small shop was capable of. Budget was small for the build, so after a few thousand dollars, West End Dyno had to foot the remaining bill. Still making a name for itself, West End Dyno struggled to find time and money to work on the car, which often was placed on the back burner to allow more time for customer cars and funds. A few years later, plenty of hard work paid off, and the car was back on the road with top-notch performance.
The car was outfitted with a Wegner-built 416 LS3 engine and Wegner front drive, Daily Engineering dry-sump, Lysholm 3.3L twin-screw supercharger, custom stainless exhaust and Stainless Works headers, and an Aeromotive fuel system running on E85. A T56 6-speed transmission with a Quick Time bell housing and Center Force DYAD clutch were installed, as well as a 9-inch rear with Moser axles and Strange center section (3.50 gears). Rounding out the transformation were an Afco radiator and triple-adjustable shocks, Heidt's subframe and 4-link rear suspension, Formula 43 wheels, a custom 10-point roll cage, and Wilwood brakes. Sparco seats, seatbelts, and reside in the cockpit, along with an Autometer/Stack gauge package. The car was last painted by Brad's uncle in 1991 and features Carbon Kustoms carbon fiber front inner and outer fenders and doors.
West End Dyno hosted a lunch stop for the Optima Face-Off and was excited to be entering their Trans Am in the event! Since they would all be running the event, part-time employee and longtime friend, Dennis Prunty, was chosen to drive the car in the competition. Dennis had a few years' experience with a late model race car and was a vital part of making the build happen. On the day of the competition, struggling with rubbing tires and leaking fluids, the guys had only one chance to dial in the and suspension. They did the best they could and took first in autocross and seventh in the road course with over 70 cars competing.
"We were very happy with the car's first time performing and we sure did make my stepdad proud!" Brad told us. "I had tears in my eyes at the end of the event to find out that we were picked to compete in the final race in November."
Brad tells us that they are currently making a few changes to the car to lighten it up a bit before the final event and dial in the suspension and brakes in an effort to put West End Dyno's name on the map.
Another list of qualifiers will be announced on October 9th. Stay tuned to optimabatteries.com for more information as it becomes available.
To view all the photos and read the rest of the article about the other car, click here.